Skip to main content

Full text of "The Creative Woman"

See other formats


fhe Creati\)e\Ooman 

Qiiarfcrty 



GSU ARCHIVES 





Fall 1979 

Our World's Children 




The 
, Creatine 

^WOllian A quarterly, Governors State University, Park Forest South, IL 60466. 



VOL. 3, NO. 2, FALL 1979 



A quarterly published at Governors State University under the auspices of the Provost's Office © 1979, Governors State University and Helen Hughes 



STAFF 

Helen E. Hughes, Editor 
Lynn Thomas Strauss, Managing Editor 
Glorie Kemper, Editorial Assistant 
Joan Lewis, Editorial Consultant 
Suzanne Oliver, Graphic Designer 

GUEST EDITOR 

Roberta Bear 



Table of Contents 



ADVISORY COUNCIL 

Donna Bandstra, Social Sciences 

Rev. Ellen Dohner, Religion 

Rita Durant, League of American Penwomen 

Harriet Gross, Sociology/Women's Studies 

Helene Guttman, Biological Sciences 

Mimi Kaplan, Library Resources 

Shirley Katz, Music/ Literature 

Young Kim, Communications Science 

Harriet Marcus, Journalism 

Betye Saar, Fine Arts 

Marjorie Sharp, Human Relations Services 

Sara Shumer, Political Theory 

Emily Wasiolek, Literature 



Cover Photo, "Age of Innocence" 
by Jim Saul 



page 

Creative Woman Meets The International Year of the Child 3 

Roberta Bear, Guest Editor 

Part 1 : Children In The World 

Our World's Children 5 

Roberta Bear 

Effect of Television Violence On Children 7 

Leonard D. Eron 

Memorandum 12 

Part 2: Children In Families 

Part 2: Children In Families 

Saying Yes to Life . . . and Death 13 

Lynn Thomas Strauss 

What Children Say About Divorce 16 

Jean Livingston 

Part 3: Inner World of Children 

Future 18 

Laurie Lewis 

Children's Art: A Map of The Inner World 19 

Roberta Bear 

Art and Poetry by Children 24 

Part 4: Reviews 

Sneetches, Ooblecks, Grinches and Gacks 26 

Mimi Kaplan 

Johnny Linny's Nightmare 29 

Reviewed by S. J. Heidekrueger 

Stella Pevsner: Popular Writer for Young People 30 

Lou Keer 

From the Editor's Playground 31 

Helen E. Hughes 

2 



CREATIVE WOMAN MEETS THE INTERNATIONAL 
YEAR OF THE CHILD 

Guest Editorial 

by RobeAta }\&tjeA Bcxui 




Roberta, 1045 

'Jhen Helen Hughes and I first 
sat down to plan this issue, we 
found we had to do two things at 
once: limit the number of topics, 
for there is nuch to say about children 
and their many worlds; and confront 
the contradiction between fantasies 
of childhood as a happy and innocent 
time, and the sober and heavy reality 
it so often is. 

Research for this issue led me to 
deliver a talk at the Unitarian 
Universal i st Community Church in 
Park Forest, Illinois, on the occasion 
of United Nations day. "Our Children's 
World" was an overview, like that 
presented in this issue's lead 
article, a comparison of the world 
we say we want for our children and 
the world we have made for them. I 
have never spoken before a quieter 
audience. No one knew what to say 
afterwards. I believe their 
discomfort was not because what I 



said was so bloody depressing-- and 
it was -but because I had told them 
nothing new. I keep finding that 
the first task of the child advocate 
is merely to remind people of the 
awful facts we already know about 
how we cheat our children of a 
decent life. 

Naming 1979 the International Year 
of the Child, the United Nations 
asked its members and other nations 
to demonstrate their recognition 
of the importance of children 
through programs to improve their 
life and future. The approach to 
this effort was, however, significantly 
different from other international years 
unlike the geophysical year, women's 
year, and regular Olympic years, no 
international events were scheduled 
for IYC, no world plan was developed, 
no overall coordination was 
established. The UN Children's Fund, 
UNICEF, was designated "lead agency" 
to provide information on its programs 
to save children throughout the world. 
But UNICEF has been saving children 
and telling the world about it for 
a long time; they would have done that 
this year as in every other year. 
No extra resources were allocated to 
improve or increase their efforts. 

In the United States, a National 
Commission in IYC was appointed. 
The primary task undertaken by this 
commission was to collect data on 
the status of American children and 
make priority recommendations. They 
have discovered so far that significant 
numbers of American children live in 
distressing poverty and malnutrition, 
unprotected from serious childhood 
diseases, without access to medical 
and dental care, and subject to 
physical and psychological abuse. 

The United States Department of 
Health, Education and Welfare 
regularly collects and publishes 
just such data. Their 1977 document 
on the status of children^ contains 
most of the same information 
collected in 1979 by the IYC commission. 
The recent Carnegie Council report 
on the status of American children 
and their families^ likewise describes 
the plight of the helpless and needy: 



their list of recommendations could 
have been the starting point for 
IYC programming in the US. 

On the international level, the 
US might have adopted the 
Indochinese boat children as a priority 
target for lifesaving efforts in IYC. 
Instead, the nation daily witnesses 
this suffering and waste of lives 
on the TV news. I find that chilling 
display the ultimate obscenity and 
the most moving example of our chauvinism. 
Those are, you see, their children dying, 
not ours . 

IrPtFTis issue of The Creative Woman , 
we have tried to deal with the many 
difficult issues of children's v/elfare 
by describing several of the worlds of 
children, and by making some suggestions- 
hopeful ly creative—for how ordinary folks 
in their everyday lives might enrich 
those worlds for our children. 

We begin with the heavy stuff referred 
to earlier--1n the larger geographic 
world, we offer an overview of selected 
data on the plight of children, and a 
closer look at a problem that exists 
in America and other wealthy nations: 
powerful media messages to children. 
I am personally gratified by Len Eron's 

courage in stating his conclusions, 
and I applaud his efforts to find ways 
to help parents help children cope 
with the barrage of TV violence daily 
assaulting their developing selfhood. 

In our section on children in families, 
Lynn Strauss writes lovingly of the 
risks and dangers of parenting, and her 
optimism shines through. The other 
article in that section is devoted 
to poignant accounts of the difficulties 
of being a child. 

The inner world of children 
features the bright and engaging work 
of children of all ages, many of them 
relatives of our staff and contributors. 
Vie commend these boys and girls who 
have shared their feelings with us, and 
we are grateful to the adults thoughtful 
enough to collect and save these clues to 
that inner world. 



1 Snapper, Kurt J., and JoAnne S. Ohms, 
The Status of Children 1977. United 
States Department of Heal th , Education , 
and Welfare Publication No. (OHDS) 
78-30133 

2 Ken is ton 



About The Guest Editor: 

Roberta Meyer Bear, Ph.D. 
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 

1967 (Human Development) 
B.A., Mills College, California 

1963 (Psychology) 

Since 1974, University Professor 
of Early Childhood Education, 
College of Human Learning and 
Development, Governors State 
University, Park Forest South, II. 

Responsible for developing 
and teaching a competency based 
program of studies to prepare 
undergraduate and graduate 
students for careers in urban 
pre-school education: Philosophy, 
theories of development and 
learning, instructional methods; 
and 1n early childhood special 
education. 

Ms. Bear is also the mother 
of three children. 



Part One: Children In The World 



OUR 'MRLP'S CHILDREN 

Roberta Meyer Bear 

Twenty years ago the United Nations 
adopted a declaration of the rights of 
children, typically paraphrased 1 ' 

Whereas mankind owes to the child the 
best that it has to give, the General 
Assembly proclaims that e\/p.ry child has 
the right: 

to affection, love and understandinq: 
to adequate nutrition and medical care 
to a free education: 
to full opportunity for plav and 

recreation ; 
to a name and nationality: 
to special care, if handicapped: 
to be among the first to receive 

relief in times of disaster: 
to learn to be a useful member of 

society and to develop individual 

abilities: 
to be brought up in a spirit of 

peace and universal brotherhood: 
to enjoy these rights regardless of 

race, color, sex, religion, 

nationality or social origin. 

This promise to our world's children 
has not yet been realized. The Inter- 
national Year of the Child is an app- 
ropriate time to look at how close we 
are to achieving the most basic right 
of children- survival. 

The UN regularly reports data on 
infant mortality around the world. 2 
These data are illustrative of whether 
and how adults care about the world's 
children. The number of deaths 
under a year of age per one thousand 
live births varies considerably among 
nations. For example, in Egypt and 
Iran more than one hundred infants die 
per thousand live births, while in most 
western European countries only ten to 
twenty in a thousand die. Obviously 
the climate has something to do with 
this differential: the heat and 
humidity of the middle east and the lack 
of fresh water in arid regions, contributes 
to the spread of the exotic, incurable 
diseases which abound. But in neighboring 
Israel and Jordan, where bombs and bullets 



add to the toll, fewer than twenty-five 
per thousand die. And in western 
European Portugal , forty die per thousand 




South Africa reports separately 
for white and colored populations: 
18.4 and 115.5, respectively. In the 
same geographic entity, with the same 
climate and water, a white child has 
better than a 98 percent chance of 
surviving to his first birthday, but 
the odds against a black child are 
better than one in ten. The South 
African government's apartheid policy 
may be held responsible- that medical, 
hygienic, and nutritional resources 
have been denied its colored people. 
This obviously distorted case doesn't 
prove the rule pointed to by the other 
figures, that keeping babies alive is 
a political problem rather than a~ 
medical one . As the South African 
government's policies relax and more 



equal services are provided all its 
citizens, its infant mortality 
statistics should compare favorably 
with Europe's, or with modern black 
African nations like Mozambique 
(19 per thousand) nations where the 
descendants of slaves of two centuries 
aqo now rule (Jamaica, 20 per thousand; 
Cuba 23 per thousand). 

But the United States also 
reports infant mortality statistics 
separately for white and non -white: 
14 per thousand among whites; 24 
per thousand anong blacks, asiatics, 
and native Americans. 

The conclusion is, after all, 
inescapable: the political nature 
of variability in infant mortality 
is greater than geographic or climatic 
differences. Adequate nutrition is 
listed in the children's bill of rights 
A UNICEF document 4 estimates that the 
calories and protein missing from 
the diets of the world's starving 
children could be supplied annually at 
a cost of about a half-dollar per 
wealthy person in the world. Wealthy 
is defined as living in the western 

among the oil -rich population. The 
idea that we could assess each well- 
fed person fifty cents a year to feed 
a malnourished child is creative, but 
it seems impractical: the logistics 
of obtaining money at one end and 
distributing food at the other is 
nind-boggl ing to most people. Cut the 
same UNICEF report notes that some 
wealthy nations routinely spend a 
hundred dollars per year per citizen 
for armaments . Perhaps we can be 
less than creative, and merely 
duplicate these mechanisms for obtain- 
inq metals and such at one end and 
distributing guns and bombs at the 
other. The vital step is to attach 
value and meaning to children's lives, 
and to make feeding the world's 
children a priority item. For it 
is only when children are kept alive 
and nourished that efforts at granting 
the other rights can be fruitful. 





'lOT^S 



Stu Hodes 



G. 



Chanlett, Mrs. Eli ska, and Mrs, 
M. Morier, "Declaration of the 
Rights of the Child." International 
Child Wel fare Re view, Vol. XXII, 

tw; 



2 1977 United Nations Demographic 
Yearbook, 29th Issue. United 
Nations, 1978. 

3 Snapper, Kurt J., and JoAnne S. 
Ohms, The Status of Children 1977 . 
United States Department of Health, 
Education, and Welfare Publication 
No. (OHDS) 78-30133. 

4 UNICEF NEWS Issue #83/1975/1: The 
Child and the Environment. 



Effect of Television Violence 
on Children' 

by Lconcutd V c Eton, UnivoAiity 
o& lZLinol6 cut Clu.ca.go CaJicZq. 

I don't think there can be any 
doubt that television influences behavior, 
especially behavior of children. Any 
mother who goes marketinq in the Super- 
market with a young child sitting in the 
shopping cart or tagging along beside her 
can attest to that fact, especially when 
she gets to the checkout counter and sees 
all the sugar coated cereals, boxes of 
cookies and candy bars she didn't want 
which somehow mysteriously found their 
way into the cart. 

It is ridiculous for the TV networks 
to insist that watching violent displays 
on television has no relation to sub- 
sequent violent behavior of viewers. If 
they did not expect television to in- 
fluence behavior, manufacturers and 
merchandisers would not be sponsoring 
programs and there would be no commercials. 
I'm sure you'll never hear a TV sales 
representative tell a prospective customer 
for TV time that television does not 
influence behavior. That's what . 
commercials are all about. That's how 
TV networks make money. 

The research that I have done, as 
well as the research of other psychologists 
demonstrate pretty conclusively that 
display of television violence can cause 
aggressive behavior in children and has 
a lasting effect on their character and 
personality. 

When I started my research more than 
20 years ago, on how children learn to 
be aggressive. I had no idea how 
important television viewing was as a 
factor in causing aggressive behavior in 
children. In fact I was certain at that 
time that TV v/as really of no importance. 
No different than fairy stories, fables, 
comics, even the movies-these were certain- 
ly violent but they had been with us for 
years, especially fairy stories; and it 



I. Based on an invited address at Annual 
Meeting of American Academy of Pediatrics, 
Illinois Chapter, Arlington Heights, 111., 
April 27, 1979. 



had never been demonstrated that Little 
Red Riding Hood, Jack the Giant Killer 
and Goldilocks made aqgressive monsters 
of the kids who grew up listening to 
these stories and repeatinq them over 
and over again themselves. And so I 
was skeptical about what effect TV miqht 
have on aqqressive behavior of children. 




Masuml Hayushi Keesey 

We were interested at that time 
primarily in relatinq child-rearinq 
practices of parents to aqgressive 
behavior of children in school . We 
were interested in rewards and punish- 
ments parents administered for anqressive 
behavior, the models of aqqressive 
behavior which the parent himself 
provided, and various social cultural 
factors such as father's occupation, 
social class, education, mobility, 
reliqion, frequency of church attendance, 
etc. Our sample included 875 children- 
all of the third qrade school children 
in a semi -rural county in New York in 
1960 and 70% of their mothers and 
fathers. Much to our surprise, we found 



that for boys there seemed to be a 
direct~positive relation between the 
violence of the TV programs they 
preferred and how aggressive th"ey were 
in school . !Tince this was no more than 
a contemporaneous relation we didn't 
have too much confidence in the finding 
by itself. You couldn't tell by these 
data alone whether aggressive boys 
liked violent television programs or 
whether the violent programs made boys 
aggressive-or whether aggression and 
watching violent television were both 
due to some other third variable. 
However, because these findings fit in 
well with certain theories about learn- 
ing by imitation, a cause and effect 
relation was certainly plausible. 

Ten years later, however, in 1970, 
we were fortunate in being able to re- 
interview over half of our original . 
sample. Our most strikino findinq again 
was the positive relation between view- 
ing of violent television at age eight 
and aggression at age 19 in the male 
subjects. Actually the relation was 
even stronger than it was when both 
variables were measured at age eight. 
And further, there was no relation 
between a young man's aggression at age 
19 and the amount of TV violence he 
viewed at that time. It's as if all 

the work had already been done. By the 
time a boy is a young adult the kinds 
of television programs he watches no 
longer affect his aggressive behavior. 

By use of such statistical 
techniques as cross lagged correlations, 
path analysis, multiple regression and 
partial correlation, it was demonstrated 
that the most plausible interpretation 
of these data was that early viewing 
of violent television caused later 
aggression. For example, the 
correlation between TV violence at 
grade three and aggression ten years 
later is significantly greater than 
the correlation between aggression at 
nrade three and TV violence ten years 
later. Further, if you control for 
how aggressive boys are at age eight, 
the relation does not diminish. As a 
matter of fact those boys who at age 
eight were low aggressive but watched 
violent television were significantly 
more aggressive ten years later than 



boys who were originally high 
aggressive but watched non-violent 
programs. 

Similarly we controlled for every 
other third variable that we could 
think of and had data on, which might 
account for this relation--IQ, social 
status, parents' aggression, social 
and qeographical mobility, church 
attendance. None of these variables 
had an effect on the relation between 
violence of programs preferred by boys 
at age eight and how aggressive they 
were ten years later. 

It seems there is a critical 
developmental period in a boy's life 
when he is very susceptible to the 
influence of violent TV. By the 
continued watching of aggressive TV 
programs the young male child comes 
to think aggression is an appropriate 
way to solve life's problems. We 
evaluated how realistic our teenage 
subjects thought TV was. For example 
we asked them, "How realistic do you 
think Gunsmoke is in telling about 
how life in the West really was?" or 
"How realistic would you say Mod Squad 
is in showing what police work is really 
like?" We found that the more 
realistic these 19 year old young men 
thought TV was, the more aggressive they 
were, the more they watched TV and 
the more violent were the proqrams 
they preferred. This is similar to 
the findings of George Gerbner of 
Pennsylvania's ^nnenberg School of 
Communication, who found strong 
associations between patterns of 
network dramatic content and conceptions 
of social reality among children and 
adolescents. He found television 
cultivated an exaggerated sense of 
danger and mistrust in steady viewers 
compared with similar groups of those 
who watch television less frequently. 

Why is this any different from 
the movies, you might ask? They 
certainly had lots of violence. Why 
didn't the movies have such an effect 
on people of my generation and, perhaps 
yours, those of you over 40, when we 
were growing ud, when we were in this 
critical period? For one thing we 
weren't exposed as often-we only 
went to the movies on Saturday after- 



8 



noons perhaps , not every day and every 
night and four hours on Saturday morn- 
ing. Also, it wasn't happening right 
in our own living room-let alone while 
we were having dinner-getting primary 
reinforcement in that way. 

After a while the youngster becomes 
satiated with violence-there is a 
blunting of sensitivity and the child 
becomes apathetic about violence, and 
it takes more and more violence to get 
a reaction from him. 

I would like to emphasize that this 
direct positive relation between 
violence of preferred programs and later 
aggression was true in that study only 
for boys . For girls, while the 
suggestion was not as strong as for boys, 
there were indications that viewing 
television violence may have lead to 
lessened aggression. 

Why should there have been this 
differential effect of television 
violence on boys and girls? First, 
boys are often encouraged and reinforced 
in the direct and overt expression of 
aggression. On the other hand, girls are 
trained not to behave aggressively in a 
direct manner, and nonaggressive 
behaviors are reinforced. Thus, for 
girls television violence-viewing may 
actually be a positively sanctioned 
social activity in which aggressive 
girls may express aggression 
vicariously since they cannot express 
aggression directly in social 
interactions. The direct avenues 
for expression of aggressive behavior 
such as fighting, wrestling, pummel - 
ing, war games, etc. are open to 
boys and discouraged for girls. More- 
over, both peer and adult cultures at 
least in the past have encouraged 
and reinforced direct rather than 
vicarious participation for boys in 
contact sports, but made little pro- 
vision for the participation of girls. 

Secondly, in 1960, there were far 
fewer aggressive females on television 
for a girl to imitate than there were 
aggressive males for a boy to imitate. 
Further, when girls did appear in 
violent sequences on television, they 
were usually victims of aggression 
or at best passive observers. So 
the more violent the programs girls 



watched, the more they were exposed ( 
to female models as victims or passive 
observers, and the more they 
associated aversive consequences to 
aggression. Therefore, the less 
likely they were to be aggressive. 

Me also find that girls do not 
think television is as realistic as boys 
do. For them, TV is more a fantasy, 
an escape. They do not tend to think 
life is really this way. However 
those girls who do think television is 
realistic are more aggressive than 
those who do not and they tend to 
resemble boys more in other attitudes 
and values as measured by the Male- 
Female Scale of the MMPI. Finally, 
there is a strong positive relation 
between aggression of girls and the 
extent to which they watch contact 
sports in television. For boys 
there is no such relation. All boys 
watch contact sports, but it is 
primarily the aggressive girls who 
like to participate in this masculine 
ritual . 

We are now in the final year of 
a three-year longitudinal study of 
750 children in the Oak Park School 
District and two inner city schools 
in the Archdiocese of Chicago. When 
we started, half the subjects were 
in the first grade and half in the 
third grade; approximately half were 
boys and half were girls. They are 
now in the third and fifth grades. 
We have not yet completed the three 
year longitudinal analyses. However, 
we do have cross sectional data 
obtained from first and third grade 
children in the first wave of the 
study and some longitudinal analyses 
from first to second wave. These data 
are consonant with the previously 
obtained findings. 

First, the positive relation bet- 
ween television violence viewing at 
home and agqressive behavior in school 
is reaffirmed for the entire samole-- 
that is for both boys and nirls. 
Further, as we go from first to second 
grade, and from third to fourth nrade 
among the same subjects, the relation 
becomes stronger. There is a cumulative 
effect of continued watchino . It is 
interesting to speculate on why we now 



have the same positive effect for girls 
as we had only for hoys in the earlier 
study. I mentioned before that in 
1960 there were no aggressive female 
models on television. In the 1970's 
we've changed that* Mod Squad, Girl 
from Uncle, Police Woman, Bionic Woman, 
and others. When we separate 
television programs into those that 
have violence by male characters and 
violence by female characters we find 
that it is the violent female programs 
that contribute more to the relation 
of violence to the aggression of girls, 
and it is these programs that have 
the greater cumulative effect over a 
period of a year. 

In general , however, this new 
study corroborates the findings of our 
original study. We now know that the 
relation between viewing violence and 
aggressive behavior can already be" 
accounted for at age six." Jerome and 
Dorothy Singer of Yale University TV 
Reserach Center observed children's 
physically aggressive behavior in 
nursery school over the period of one 
year; they recently reported that this 
behavior was related to the amount 
of violence the youngsters, just 3 
and 4 years old, viewed on television. 

What are the implications of these 
findings? They point to two areas 
where efforts can be made which should 
eventually reduce aggression. The 
first and most direct is television 
violence. Sig nificant overall 
reduction of violence and mayhem on 
the television screen would, I believe , 
lower the level of violence in 
American society . However, I thi n k 
trying to get any significant change 
in television programming is like 
tilting at windmills. Despite 
the efforts of the AMA, the PTA and 
ACT, the level of violence on national 
and local TV has not diminished appre- 
ciably. In fact, according to 
Gerbner's survey, there were 15.6 
violent incidents an hour in 1977 in 
children's programs but that figure rose 
to 25 an hour in 1978. 

Barrinn any significent changes 
in programming, what can be done? 
For one thing we can teach parents and 
children techniques for counteracting 



the effects of television. Efforts 
at devising such procedures are going 
on in at least two places. The Singers 
are preparing curricula to teach young 
children and their parents how to be 
intelligent television consumers; 
Rowel 1 Huesmann and I are intervening 
with groups of children in our long- 
itudinal study to determine the best 
way to ameliorate the relation 
between violence viewing and subsequent 
aggressive behavior in children. I 
wish I could report some great 
breakthrough in discovering a vaccine 
with which we could innoculate 
children so they would forever be 
immune to the effects of television 
violence. However, our first attempts 
do not appear to have been terribly 
successful. In the first year of our 
study, we focused our intervention on 
teaching children to distinguish 
between fantasy and reality, e.g. 
explaining how Bionic Woman and Six 
Million Dollar Man simulate the 
aggressive behaviors and other fantastic 
actions of these characters and having 
the children imagine similar feats and 
how they would simulate them. However, 
on a criterion test they did not 
distinguish fantasy from reality any 
better than a control grouD of children 
who engaged in different intervening 
activities. Whether the intervention 
will have an effect on the relation 
between violent viewing and subsequent 
aggressive behavior is still 
undetermined. 

The Singers are having some 
success in their work with parents- 
teaching them how to turn off the TV, 
to monitor the child's watching, sharing 
the viewing experience, interpreting 
content, allaying fears and helping 
the child distinguish real from fantasy 
figures. As yet they have no data 
on how these interventions affect the 
relation between violence viewing and 
behavior. 

The other place where we are going 
to have to direct massive efforts is 
in the area of values - of what it means 
to be a man or masculine in our society, 
since the preponderance of violence 
in our society is perpetated by males 
or by females who are acting like males. 



10 



The results of our studies as well as 
those of other researchers, point to 
differential socialization as crucial 
in determining the different level of 
aggression in the two sexes. No 
matter how aggression is measured 
or observed, males always score higher. 
But there are some girls who seem to 
have been socialized like boys and 
who are just as aggressive as boys. 
Thus, although there may be conditions, 
organismically normal ones, like sex 
differences in testosterone level, which 
are implicated in aggressive behavior, 
this behavior is not necessarily 
immutable. Just as some females can 
learn to be aggressive, males can learn 
not to be aggressive . The significant 
variables are the values and expectations 
a society holds for the expression of 
aggressive behavior in one sex rather 
than another and the rewards it provides 
or withdraws when that behavior is 
displayed. If we want to reduce the 
level of aggression in society we should 
also discourage boys from aggression 
very early on in life and reward them 
for other behaviors: in other words we 
should socialize boys more like we have 
been socializing girls . Rather than 
insisting that little girls should be 
treated like little boys and given 
exactly the same opportunities for 
participation in athletic events. Little 
League, entry into locker rooms etc., as 
well as all other aspects of life, it 
should be the other way around. Boys 
should be socialized the way girls 
have been traditionally socialized and 
they should be encouraged to develop 
civilized qualities like tenderness, 
nurturance, cooperation and aesthetic 
sensitivity. When I say this, it 
makes some of my more macho colleagues 
nervous, but the level of individual 
aggression in society will be reduced 
only when male adolescents and young 
adults, as a result of socialization, 
subscribe to the same standards of 
behavior as have been traditionally 
encouraged for women. 

In closing I would like to repeat 
the old cliche that behavior which 
is learned can be unlearned, and 
aggressive behavior is no different-, 
it can be unlearned. But how much 



easier would it be, how much pain 
and suffering the loss of life and 
property would be eliminated if we 
arranged conditions so that aggression 
was not learned in the first place 
and all youngsters learned alternative 
ways of solving problems. 

REFERENCES 

Eron, L.D., Huesmann, L.R., Lefkowita, 
M.M., and Walder, L.O. "Does TV 
Violence Cause Aggression?" Amer i can 
Psychologi cal , Vol. 27 (1972) 
pages 233-236". 

Gerbner, George. Personal communication. 

Singer, J.L. and Singer, 0. 

"Television viewing, play, and aggression 

in preschoolers." Paper presented 

at third biennial meeting of The 

International Society for Research 

in Aggression; Washington, n.C.,1978. 



11 



Memorandum 



To: The World Community 

From: A Child 
Subject: Year of the Child 

1. Don't spoil me. I know quite well that I 
ought not to have all that I ask for— I'm only 
testing you. 

2. Don't be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer 
it. It makes me feel more secure. 

3. Don't let me form bad habits. I have to rely 
on you to detect them in the early stages. 

4. Don't make me feel smaller than I am. It 
only makes me behave stupidly "big." 

5. Don't correct me in front of people if you 
can help it. I'll take much more notice if you 
talk quietly with me in private. 

6. Don't make me feel that my mistakes are 
sins. It upsets my sense of values. 

7. Don't protect me from consequences. I 
need to learn the painful way sometimes. 

8. Don't be too upset when I say, "I hate you." 
It isn't you I hate but your power to thwart 
me. 

9. Don't nag. If you do, I shall have to protect 
myself by ignoring you. 

10. Don't take too much notice of my small 
ailments. Sometimes they get me the 
attention I need. 

11. Don't make rash promises. Remember that 
I feel badly let down when promises are 
broken. 

12. Don't forget that I cannot explain myself as 
well as I should like. That is why I'm not 
always accurate. 



13. Don't tax my honesty too much. I am easily 
frightened into telling lies. 

14. Don't put me off when I ask questions. If 
you do, you will find that I stop asking and 
seek my information elsewhere. 

15. Don't be inconsistent. That completely 
confuses me and makes me lose faith in 
you. 

16. Don't tell me my fears are silly. They are 
terribly real and you do much to reassure 
me if you try to understand. 

17. Don't ever suggest that you are perfect or 
infallible. It gives me too great a shock 
when I discover that you aren't. 

18. Don't ever think that it is beneath your 
dignity to apologize to me. An honest 
apology makes me feel surprisingly warm 
toward you. 

19. Don't forget I love experimenting. I can't 
get on without it; so please put up with it. 

20. Don't forget how quickly I am growing up. It 
must be very difficult for you to keep pace 
with me, but please try. 

21. Don't forget that I can't thrive without lots 
of understanding love . . . but I don't need to 
tell you, do I? 

22. Treat me the way you treat your friends, 
then I will be your friend, too. 

23. Remember, I learn more from a MODEL 
than a critic. 



12 



Part Two: Children In Families 



SAYING YES TO LIFE. ..AND DEATH 

by Lynn Thomai Stncui&A 




Lynn, 1950 

We live in a tine in which most 
people can choose whether or not to 
have a baby, when to have a baby, and 
how many babies they want. The 
impact of exercising these choices 
(and we all must-even if we choose 
not to choose) is profound. Vie 
must deal on an intimate level 
with feelings and realities our 
own parents never knew. The power 
to choose whether or not to create 
a new human being is a tremendous 
responsibility and burden. There 
are few guidelines to help us in our 
decision making. If we are to 
make meaningful choices on this 
crucial question then it might be 
helpful for those of us who have 
already chosen, either yes or no, 
to communicate something of what 
it has been like for us. 

I have been a parent for 
nearly six years now and as I 
watch and participate in my 
children's growth, I am also 
keenly aware of the changes I 
have gone through. Parenthood 
has tapped potential in me that 



I was unaware of and has caused 
me to think about and experience 
life from a broadened perspective. 

Throughout these years I 
have sought to understand myself 
and my life situation in the 
light of both my past and the 
family script handed down to 
me, and the present in which mes- 
sages about family in* our society 
are so ambiguous. Vie live in a 
time of much ambivalence about the 
value of raising children and there 
are few concrete supports or 
reinforcements for those of us 
embarking on the rough road of 
parenthood. Each family is expected 
to stand on its own two feet and 
not to admit to needing any help. 
The state of marriage, the state 
of the economy, and the quality of 
life must all be considered. Given 
these harsh realities the weighing 
of pro or con concerning childbearing 
is not easy. 

Among our peers, three children 
is considered a large family and we 
have many friends who are, in 
their mid and late thirties, still 
childfree. Why then have we chosen 
as we have? What are the factors 
that influence reproductive choice? 
What is the meaning and significance 
of our choices and those of our 
friends in both the short and the 
long run? These are important 
questions. Perhaps by sharing my 
experience I can suggest some 
answers for others. 

During my first pregnancy I 
examined my reasons for wanting to 
have a child; six years and two more 
pregnancies later those early motiva- 
tions still are meaningful to me. 
In an article I wrote during that 
first pregnancy I stated; "I 
wanted to become pregnant because 
I wanted to know myself fully. In 
seeking all these years to know who 
I am, I wanted to know this part of 



13 



myself too--conception, pregnancy, 
birth, nursing, and mothering. I 
wanted to have a child because I like 
children, the way they are and the 
things they do. I wanted to feel 
unconditional trust and loving, to 
know the texture, shape, color, 
smell and taste of life again... 
the gifts that children bring. I 
wanted to respond to the task of 
creating new family forms, to share 
with my husband, David, and others 
the responsibilities and joys 
of enabling a new human life to 
grow and remain a free and loving 
human being in spite of the often 
dehumanizing world in which we live." 

These reasons for choosing 
parenthood still reflect my feelings 
and beliefs; but in living through 
six years of parenting I have 
encountered myself in unanticipated 
ways. One hidden part of myself I 
have had to confront as a parent has 
been my fear of death c In giving 
life to another I found that I 
unwittingly had to confront death 
or at least fear of death — death 
as a possibility,, Throughout 
pregnancy I would dream of my 
death or the death of my unborn 
baby. When pregnant I was afraid 
to drive alone or too fast because 
I was already responsible for two 
lives and v/ould therefore be 
responsible for two deaths. 

In childbirth there is even 
now, danger to the life of the 
mother and the baby, and my over- 
whelming feeling in the delivery 
room immediately after birth was 
of immense relief. I, like all new 
parents, counted my baby's toes 
and fingers and searched carefully 
for any sign of a defect. And in 
the middle of the night, I have 
stood over my newborn's crib to 
check and make sure she was still 
breathing. Through the process 
of becoming a parent, fears I 
thought I had so under control 
have risen to threaten me again. 

Beginning in pregnancy, I 



experienced a physical interdepen- 
dence and survival awareness that 
is, I think, a vital clue in the 
differing ways in which mothers 
and fathers experience parenthood. 
It is an interdependence of some- 
times awesome magnitude. I remember 
the first time I went out alone 
after the birth of my first baby. 
Particularly because I was breast 
feeding, I was painfully aware of 
how dependent that baby was upon 
me and me alone for her survival. 
I very consciously took greater 
care while crossing the street 
than I had in my pre-parent life. 
And I certainly didn't stay out 
late at night or travel too far 
from home. 

Much maternal behavior that 
is negatively categorized as over- 
protectiveness stems perhaps from 
this physical interdependence. 
Before birth and in the first months 
of life an infant is totally 
dependent on its mother for its 
life. After birth a father can 
take over some or all of this 
responsibility for the life and 
death of his child, but in our 
culture, he rarely does. The 
absence of this physical bond be- 
tween the child and his father sets 
the stage for a very different kind 
of relationship than exists between 
mother and child. 

The parental urge to protect 
your children, to keep them at home, to 
see that they eat right, reflects the 
anxiety we feel in the face of deatho 
Every parent has experienced the terror 
of dealing with a very sick child 
or the near fatal accident on the 
playground and wondered, "How can I 
give my child the freedom to face 
such a hostile and dangerous world?" 
Having brought them through infancy 
and babyhood by caring for all 
their physical needs and protecting 
them from their environment, how 
do we then stand by and watch 
them encounter all of life's 
dangers without our help? This 
is one of the many paradoxes of 



14 



parenthood and 1t 1s perhaps 
the tension of these kinds of 
paradoxes that can set the stage for 
meaningful growth for the parents 
as well as the children,, 

I have thought, as perhaps 
many parents have, that I would 
give my own life to spare the 
life of my child. Is this because 
in some basic way I feel more 
responsibility for my child's life 
than I do for my own? I am, afterall, 
directly responsible for ny children 
being upon this earth. My existence 
here was caused by my parents, not 
by me. Therefore, I can more 
easily give up my life — the one I 
didn't intentionally create. 

This facing the fact of death 
through parenting is painful, scary 
and is mostly done alone. It's one 
of those experiences that lets you 
know most definitely that you are 
now a grov/n-up. It's no wonder, now 
that we do have some reproductive 
choice, that people choose to say no. 

The task of parenthood is 
carried on in the isolation of the 
nuclear family with little support 
from extended families or societal 
institutions. David and I alone 
are responsible for meeting all of 
the physical, emotional, economic, 
educational and recreational needs 
of our children. The magnitude of 
fulfilling these responsibilities 
for three children under six years 
of age leads to almost constant 
exhaustion. Recently a friend asked 
if I'd be interested in a wilderness 
survival trip, and my immediate 
response was, "My god, every day 
with three small children is a 
survival trip. I don't need to 
test myself any further,," 

But out of the isolation and 
exhaustion of carrying out our 
daily tasks, David and I sense a 
tie to our past, to all the mothers 
and fathers who have gone before 
and to all those that will now follow. 
Being a parent somehow makes me feel 
a fuller, richer person. A person 



participating in significant ways 
in a life flow. In building a 
family we feel we are affecting the 
future through an on-going process 
of change. Change that will continue 
to be expressed in the lives of our 
childrfin. Through our children we 
experience an increased sense of 
purpose in our lives and a connected- 
ness to a history as well as to a 
future. 



Three Mile Island 

Within my womb the baby stirs, 
Too large to move now, soon due. 
But my mind is a thousand miles 
Downwind and months away: 
I feel for those who fear. 

For those who know life is 
Mew within them - cells 
At their most fragile stage - 
And must bear their waiting 
Under the hard rains: 
Anxiety which cannot be 
Measured; Anger which 
Cannot be placed. 

-D.Rank 



15 



"There's Always Someone 
Hissing for Supper Now"... 
WHAT CHILDREN SAY ABOUT DIVORCE 

by Jean Liv sing* ton 



These conversations have been 
gathered by ongoing interviews of 
children and their parents through 
the Kids in Divorce Project. The 
research team is interviewing 50 
families — custodial parent, non- 
custodial parent and children 6 to 
12 years old. 

A final research report will be 
made available to parents, teachers, 
child care workers, clergy and lawyers 
to help them understand the special 
needs of children of divorce. 
Long-range goal of the project is to 
provide new and improved programs to 
help children cope successfully 
with the changes in their lives 
brought by divorce. 

Inspiration for the project 
was the statistical rise of 
127 per cent in divorce between 
1962 and 1976, despite which there 
is still little information 
available about the emotional 
responses of children to this 
crisis in their lives. I would 
like to share some of those 
responses. 

"My Mom hardly visits us. She 
thinks my Dad is a germ or some- 
thing—she won't even hug him. 

When Dad told me about the divorce, 
I was blushing — my throat was 
getting sore. I wanted to hold it 
in. That was the worst thing in 
my whole life. 

No, there is nothing good about 
divorce because children take a 
lot more time to get over it than 
other people and won't have much 
fun in their life. 



I'd tell other kids not to feel 
bad, you'll get over it soon. It 
might change your life a little, 
but it won't be too bad.".... 
11 yean, old who&z mo the*, 
lefit two yean* ago. 






pet*** S* ***** 




Lara Ulanowski 



"The worst thing about the divorce 
is that I can't see Dad too often. 
My little sister screams when Dad 
leaves. He doesn't want me to 
feel sad. He never talks. about 
it too much.".... 

B yzoji old idxo^e ^atheA &Lve* 
in anotkeA &tate<> 



"When you first hear about the 
divorce, you think you are the cause. 
I don't remember how I felt. I 
just told them I was going to run 
away. Then I tried to forget — 
I did more interesting stuff. Mow 
I think the divorce is good. I 
won't be scared about the fighting 
and I think both my parents will 
be happier. The worst thing is not 
seeing my Dad as often and getting 
in the middle between Mom and Dad. 
Not many people at school know 
about the divorce. Now I'm looking 
for a place to hang out.".,.. 

13 yean, old loho&e pa/ie.ntt> have- 
been divonced one. ye.an 



16 



"No, I usually don't say anything 
to my grandma and grandpa. They 
wouldn't understand. My sister 
sometimes does. We had dinner 
with my aunt and uncle and they 
started insulting my father and 
making hand signs. I didn't like 
that. Our biggest problem is my 
brother. He bosses us around. 
He thinks he is Dad. If I knew a 
kid whose parents were just getting 
a divorce, I would tell him to ask 
as many questions as he can. l/hat 
is divorce? llhat happens? What is 
going to happen if Dad moves out and 
something happens to Mom? What to 
do in case of emergency?".... 

11 ijexvi old who&e ioMiVi le^t 
one yean, ago. 



A Puppet Show: Begins with scene 
of mother and father fighting, 
bickering about household chores. 
When the child comes in, they 
pretend nothing is wrong. 
The boy and girl talk about fight- 
ing, decide to go and comfort the 
mom and dad. The parents again 
deny they were fighting. The 
kids get together and decide to 
spy on the parents when they are 
supposed to be sleeping. 
Parents fight again. Father walks 
out. Mother cries. 
Next morning: Mother tells the 
children that father has left. 
Everyone cries. Mother assures 
the children that father will visit, 
Father visits. Mother is mean to 
him. The kids are ecstatic. 
They beg him to come back. He 
blames everything on the mother. 
Mother discovers mice and expects 
the son to kill them for her. 
The son gets bit by a mouse. The 
father decides the family needs a 
man around the house and comes 
home. 

The kids are happy. They shout and 
say, "We saved ourselves!".... 

by an & yean, old who&e pa/ientb 
have, been divorced one yexui. 



"There's always someone missing 
for supper now. The worst thing 
is not having a father. Seems 
like something is always gone.".. 

9 IJQ.OA Old Vjk06Z pOAZtvU liave 

been dlvoiced bix montli&. 

"If I knew a child whose parents 
were just about ready to get a 
divorce, what would I tell them? 
I'd say, 'Tell them not to!' 
I told my parents and they didn't 
listen. Maybe this child's 
parents might listen." 

6 tje.au old wnotz patent* aKe 
divorced a £ew mon£lu>. 




Gail , age 10 



Findings from this research 
should be useful to families in 
helping them to become aware of 
the need to listen to children and 
respond to their feelings. 

Conducting the research are 
Jean Livingston, M.S.W., School 
Social Worker; Cecil e Adler differ, 
M.A., Private Therapist, Harriet 
Minkin, M.S.W., YWCA Program 
Coordinator of Services to Families 
in Change; and Jeanne Douglas, 
Ph.D. graduate student in guidance 
and counseling. 

The KID Project staff would 
welcome volunteer interviewers 
and interviewees. 



17 



Part Three: Inner World of Children 




Laurie 



FUTURE 



Would you please be quiet 

just this once 
and listen? 
You will hear the silence 

of our disbelief 
our emptiness. 
Your world does not concern us* 

We could care less 

for your reality. 
We have other things to worry through 

Heyond your idealisms 

The world is cold and dark. 

In caring we hurt. We turn away 

to drugs, to sex 

money, work. 
We are content to be lost. 
High living, loose loving 

going for the thrill 
We don't care. 
Can't you see, don't you hear? 

We won't, can't possibly 
take the time 
to care. 



In this Year of the Child, I have 
been asked to write from the viewpoint 
of the teenager. We are on the thres- 
hold of adulthood. Some of us are treat- 
ed accordingly, others are not. 

As a rule, my friends and the people 
we know look to the future and try 
desperately just to make it through 
the present. We are marking time. 
There is a common feeling of being 
on a leash. 

The overall feeling that I've 
gotten is a kind of lost hopelessness. 
When we talk out our feelings, people 
seem to dismiss the importance of our 
words because of our age. We feel as 
though we have little to say in any 
situation pertinent to our lives. 
We are without control. 

Parents don't seem to know a hell 
of a lot about what their kids are 
doing. This isn't limited to the 
bad things ( drinking and drugs ), 
but includes the good things too. 
Love affairs, friendships, 
people that make our lives worth- 
while. 

Along with all the complaining 
and boredom, other feelings come 
through as we talk among ourselves. 
We share dreams and faith and 
reality... in an atmosphere of 
absolute trust „ Nothing said here will 
will reach the family ears. 

Senior year seems to be a last 
year of hiding for most, I can 
understand the why and how, but I 
don't dnow if it's all worth it. 

by LauAie. Lm<U 



by Lciu/tie. Letuca 



18 



CHILDREN'S ART: A MAP OF THE INNER 
WORLD 

by RobeAAa M. BeoA 

A group of college students in an 
education course, are asked to "draw a 
picture" for their professor. They laugh 
nervously. They are embarrassed, 
squirming, turning their blank sheets of 
paper this way and that. Given a choice 
among felt-tip pen, pencil, crayon, they 
hesitate, laughing again, saying things 
like, "It doesn't matter what I use: 
I can't draw", and "I'll give it a title, 
so you can tell what it is," and "Do 
I have to put my name on it?". They settle 
down finally, some still staring at the 
ceiling or out the window, seeking 
inspiration. After ten minutes, the 
instructor suggests they finish their 
drawings, time's up. Again much 
nervous laughter, groans, protests against 
having to show anybody their pictures, 
let alone their professor. When she 
tells them they may keep or discard the 
drawings, she doesn't intend to collect 
them, they are immensely relieved. Some 
immediately crumple or tear up the 
picture, others secrete it in their note- 
books between the last page and the 
back cover. A few show theirs to their 
neighbors or the professor: the most 
talented, and the least, who have 
drawn a stick figure or a simple 
geometric design. 

These students were being taught an 
important lesson for teachers, for any 
adult who works with children. They were 
forced to look at their feelings about 
drawing a picture, their discomfiture at 
being asked to do something which apparently 
borders on stripping in public. 

Drawing a picture is a very private 
affair. We reveal our inner selves, our 
feelings and motives, in our drawings. That 
is one reason why adults do not draw, 
unless they consider themselves to be 
trained or experienced or talented artists. 
The majority of us stopped drawing when we 
left elementary school , at about age 
twelve. We doodle. We design in the 
margins of our notebooks. We occasionally 
create something we like, and we may share 
it with others. But when we are asked to 
draw a picture, we are very nervous. We 
know it may reveal something. 



There is a second reason why children 
over twelve and adults are more reluctant 
to draw than younger children. Somewhere 
between ten and twelve years of age, most 
of us notice that our drawings are not 
as good as those we see in magazines, 
books, cartoons--not as realistic, not 
as well-balanced. Our amateur drawings 
just don't look like the commercial ones. 
Before this age, children are not concern- 
ed with such comparisons, because drawing 
for children is exercise in manipulating 
tools, space, and form. The product is 
less important than the process. It is 
only when some control of space and form 
have been mastered that attention turns 
to the product. Then, because most of 
us are not formally trained, we are 
disappointed in our drawings. We stop 
displaving them, and we stop drawing. 

Before ten or twelve years of age, 
however, most children draw whenever 
they have the chance. And their drawings 
show a regular development of control 
over space and form. The toddler, 18 
months to two or three years, scribbles 
with whatever she can find, on whatever 
surface is handy. She makes a path 
with her finger in the milk or strained 
vegetables spilled on the highchair 
tray: she strokes vigorously in sand or 
mud, with a stick, a shovel, her hand 
or foot. This kinesthetic behavior is 
not drawing as adults think of drawing: 
it is not making pictures. Scribbling 
is arm-exercise: because it leaves a mark, 
it quickly becomes exercise in eye- 
hand coordination. Experience leads 
eventually to the discovery that the 
mark can be controlled, and some time 
within a year of beginning scribbling, 
the child first purposely draws a 
closed shape, a circle or oval; and 
she draws straight lines, up and down at 
first, then horizontal. These purpose- 
ful units are repeated, for the sense of 
mastery, and interwoven with continued 
kinesthetic scribbling. Compare two- 
year-old Kiki's scribble with Nathan's 
at three. 



19 







Scribbles Kiki , age 2 




Controlled scribbles Nathan, age 



Adults are always pointing out pictures 
in books, telling the child what they 
are. The child imitates this behavior, 
and is soon labeling her drawings. Like 
almost-four-year-old Omar's mouse, a 




"horsie" or "fireman" may be unrecognizable 
and is likely to be surrounded by "grass" 
or "smoke" which obscures. But the 
child has entered a post-scribbling phase, 
creating pictures to tell a story. With 
practice, the elements become more 
recognizable, but their size, arrangement 
on the page, and details, are all 
egocentric. From about three until eight 
to ten years of age, the child's drawings 
are a true map to his inner feelings and 
motives. These drawings can be inter- 
preted literally: what is large in them 
is important to the child; what is drawn 
first is also important; the closeness 
between two items in a drawing indicates 
emotions between them or feelings about 
them: and the use of space describes the 
child's place in the picture and his 
feelings about the subjects of his draw- 
ing. 




Jacob, age 6 



Mouse Omar, almost 3 



20 



V\y eyes areVAuz. 




At five Jacob drew a series of 
pictures of himself and his girlfriend 
Jean spendinq the afternoon at his 
house. He shows us the top of the 
table where they are eating hamburgers 
Jacob's mother, to the left, has no 
arms: she is not eating. Similarly, 
his sister in the middle of the other 
drawing has no hands. 







Jacob, age 

The two self-portraits by Jacob at 
age six and six-and-a-half demonstrate 
a dramatic shift in his self-concept. 
In the six-month period between them, 
his hyperactive behavior was diagnosed 
The first self-portrait was drawn when 
he began taking Ritalin: six months 
later, his body had adjusted to the 
drug and he had stopped worrying that 
"my brain is broken". 



Jacob, age 5 

But he and Jean 
are holding hands — immense hands, 
at the end of long arms. 

Elana at six draws herself standing 
on top of the boat, where she can both 
see tn~e whales and be seen. 





21 



Jacob, age 5 



Elana, age 6 

Out of this busy, productive phase, 
the child develops a repertoire of 
schemata, personally-standardized symbols 
to represent the subject matter of her 
drawings: the human figure, a house, a 
tree, flowers, autos , clouds, ground and 



sky, animals. Each child reproduces in 
some ways what all children throughout 
time and space have drawn: but each 
child's schemata contain idiosyncratic 
elements that allow the -observant adult 
to distinguish among drawings done by 
different children, and to recognize that 
two drawings were done by the same child. 

Having mastered the physical world, 
the ten-to twelve-year-old turns her 
attention to detailed and accurate 
representation. Pictures now should 
look like what she sees and intends to 
draw. 



>J* 




Elana 
Perspective and proportion are 
increasingly accurate; details elaborate 
the standard forms, so differences in 
age and sex are discernible in human 
figure drawings, and flowers look less 
like trees, horses less like large dogs. 
Elana at seven and Jacob at almost ten, 
show clear base lines and sky. 



Y 



c 



VAA. k) 




■> 



&M^ 



El ana's 
girl is too big to fit in her door, but 
Jacob's people look like ants and are in 
good proportion to his trees and the 
blimp. 

Achieving optic realism and true 
representation, the child's exploration 
of space and form gradually ends. 
Children whose talent has been recognized 
and encouraged, who now enter formal 
artistic training, will continue to 
make pictures. With proper training, 
they will retain that exploratory sense, 
and will experiment freely with 
form, color, surfaces, and tools. The 
creative artist seeks modes of represent- 
ation that go beyond graphic realism or 
photographic exactness; coming full 
circle, egocentrism is the focus as it 
was in the earliest years; the artist 
draws her very personal vision of reality. 

But the majority of adults are forever 
stalled at the twelve -year-old level of 
representational drawing. This 
unfortunate blunting of the creative 
process might be relieved if parents and 
other adults followed a few basic 
principles in dealing with children's 
art. 

Try asking a child to "tell me about 
your picture", rather than "what is it?" 
Asking for a label tells her every 
picture must be of some concrete thing, 
and it limits her to drawing people, houses, 
animals, preventing her drawing a sunny 
day or a cold night or her fear of the 
ocean waves. Observe the charm of the 
anonymous 5 -year-old's happy house, and 
4-year-old Jacob's camel -horse. 



"j^S?^" [~~: 





Jacob, age 4 

When a child asks the adult to show 
her how to draw something, it is more 
appropriate to provide a real model of 
what she is trying to draw than the adult's 
version of how it should be drawn. The 
adult's version is likely to be what 
that adult drew in the schematic stage, 
and the child in imitating it will be 
prevented from forming her own 
idiosyncratic elements. Remembering 
that children draw for mastery of process 
rather than for the product, the child 
should have opportunities to examine 
the object she wishes to draw; she 
should be encouraged to keep 
experimenting until she has found 
a way to depict it that satisfies her. 
If she wants to draw a tree, go look at 
trees together, attending to differences 
in leaf shape, in bark texture and color, 
in the crown and major forks: for 
buildings, walk around them, looking up 
at the roof and at the angles where 
walls meet, so she is encouraged to 
attempt some perspective other than the 
full -front view. 

Children need to distinguish "color- 
ing" from "drawing". Coloring books are 
useful to help the child gain eye-hand 
coordination, staying in the lines, 
coloring around, up and down, and back 
and forth as the shapes in the picture 
suggest. Coloring books also allow the 
child to experiment with color 
separately from form and content: the 
picture is already there, so she 
doesn't have to simultaneously think 
about how to make a shape and what 
color to use. Rut for e^ery coloring 
book, give her a ream of blank paper, 



and encourage her to draw her own 
pictures. Be sure she knows the 
picture book drawings were done by 
people specially trained to draw 
realistically or to cartoon; don't 
let her believe that drawing means 
copying them. 

Finally, value the child's progress, 
not her products. Mounting the latest 
picture on the refrigerator door, note 
how she has "made a happy-looking person" 
not that the figure "looks more real" or 
"better" than some she did before. 
Encourage her to draw feelings and 
ideas as well is things. 

And the child in all of us can be 
nourished by drawing. Get your own 
note pad and crayons. Go make a 
picture of anything. Sen what you can 
see of yourself in it. You may create 
a map to territories you forgot were 
there. 



23 



Art and Poetry by Children 




CoV 



Mariya, 1975 



A/*t- Wt>u>v , tftntsc^ jU^JL. v-ttnj. oCfr^n 

Jtjrjsr^ iyvK^y vjJ^S^-i (5%vJ. v>T*Cte. -aA«. . 



ifi^, W/xM^i 



Heather 




II Ajj cw i A Y £\ IN ._ Wit 



Mariya, age 5 



Rhoda Riley 









Sarah 













Part Four: Reviews 



SNEETCHES, OOBLECKS, GRINCHES 
AND GACKS 

bij lluru. Kaplan 



Theodore S. Geisel, known as 
"Dr. Seuss" to the millions of 
children who read his books each 
year, was turned dov/n by over 
twenty publishers before his 
first book was published. Although 
well knov/n for his "Quick, Henry! 
The Flit!" ads, and cartoons in a 
number of magazines, it wasn't 
until 1937 when TO THINK THAT I 
SAM IT OH MULBERRY STREET was 
published that Seuss was on his 
way to fame and fortune, '.'anting 
to save his own name for "serious" 
writing, he assumed the "Dr." 
title after pursuing a doctorate 
in literature at Oxford, which 
he never obtained. Seuss is his 
middle name as well as his mother's 
maiden name. 

I have fond memories of having 
one of my favorite childhood 
stories, THE 500 HATS OF BARTHOL- 
OLEMEi: CT.niHS , read to me. My 
anxiety grew as the suspense 
built - 398, 399, 400 - would 
those hats ever stop appearing 
on Bartholomew's head or would he 
be banished to the dungeon and 
beheaded for disobeying orders 
by not removing his hat before the 
king? After awhile the hats began 
to change in appearance: they 
became grander and grander until 
finally, one was mere beautiful 
than the king's own crown. The 
king offered Bartholemew 500 
gold pieces for his magnificent 
chapeau and lo and behold, when 
Bartholemew removed the hat to 
give it to the king, he felt a 
breeze rustling his hair — 
miraculously, that was the final 
hat, number 500! Bartholomew's 
head was saved, he was able to 
take the gold back to his poor 
family, and justice prevailed. 



Years later, reading Dr. Seuss 
books to my own youngsters, I 
continued to enjoy his fantastic 
menagerie of creatures including 
Drum-Tummied Snumm "who can drum 
any tune that you might care to 
hum", Thidwick the Big-Hearted 
Moose, Yertle the Turtle and the 
Bippo-no-Bungus from Hippo-no- 
Hungus or the Tufted Mazurka from 
the Isle of Yerka. His wacky, 
cartoon-like illustrations are the 
perfect accompaniment to the crazy 
creatures, make-believe settings 
and outlandish plots. Visualize 
a Seuss story with someone else's 
drawings-- it's impossible! The 
two are as necessary to each other as 
peanut butter and jelly to a 
sandwich or cream cheese and lox 
to a bagel . 

To read a Seuss story aloud 
is pure fun! If you love rhymes 
with a beat, these are for you: 
"And that is a story that no one 
can beat/And to think that I saw 
it on Mulberry Street." Listen to 
Gerald McGrew talk about the new 
kinds of animals he would like in 
IF I RAN THE ZOO: "A sort of a 
kind of a Thing-a-ma-Bobsk/who 
eats only rhubarb and corn-on- 
the-cobsk." And Morris McQurk, in 
IF I RAN THE CIRCUS says: "After 
all , Mr Smeelock is one of my 
friends/He might even help out 
doing small odds and ends, /Doing 
little old jobs, he could be of 
some aid. ../Such as selling balloons 
and pink lemonade." And who can 
forget the children's pet fish 
in THE CAT IN THE HAT who warns 
them about the chaos the Cat has 
created in their house: "But your 
mother will come /She will find this 
big mess!/And this mess is so big/ 
And so deep and so tall, /We can 
not pick it up. /There is no way at 
all." 

Carolyn Bauer, discussing 
humor in children's books, says 
kids love broad slapstick, word 



26 



games, jokes, tongue twisters, 
riddles, tall tales, rhymes and 
limericks. Seuss employs every 
one of these in his humorous stories. 

Selma Lanes, in her book DOWN 
THE RABBIT HOLE , believes Seuss 
recognizes that children crave 
excitement in their reading and 
directs his stories to that pent-up 
anxiety that needs releasing. He 
magnifies and multiplies the suspense 
in his stories until the child is 
so excited and anxious with antici- 
pation that s/he is ready to pop. 
Seuss' s doggerel moves at a fast 
pace and his outlandish drawings 
seem effortless. Lanes feels the 
child is at a "mild fever pitch" 
by the time Seuss is coming to the 
climax of the story. Lanes also 
points out that central to the 
Seuss formula is the action of 
all his books, with children as 
protagonists, which takes place 
either "(1) in the absence of 
grownups, or (2) in the imagination," 
Peter T. Hooper in SCRAMBLED EGGS 
SUPER! states: "Why, only last 
Tuesday, when mother was out/I 
really cooked something worth 
talking about." Or remember how The 
Cat in the Hat wreaks chaos only 
wnen "our mother was out of the 
house for the day". Young Morris 
McGurk daydreams about the circus 
and Marco's imagination runs wild as 
he describes a supercolossal parade 
in place of the horse and wagon that 
he actually sees on his walk down 
Mulberry Street. Gerald McGrew 
would "go to the far-away Mountains 
of Tobsk/Near the River of Nobsk to 
bring back an Obsk" in order to find 
animals for his zoo. 



Just as Seuss' 
on suspense, his z 
add to the intensi 
Nervous squiggles 
and there seems to 
in his pictures, 
the bubbling over 
glasses that look 
about to be tipped 
everywhere, and ca 



tales are built 
any illustrations 
ty of the story, 
and curlicues abound, 

be constant movement 
Lanes points out 
coffee pots, milk 
like they are 
, batter splattered 
kes that are never 



intact. Such chaos also seens to 
express children's sense of lack of 
control over their physical world. 

Geisel appears as the ultimate 
moralist. Truth, justice and 
equality for all are themes running 
through many of his stories , Harthol- 
emew, son of poor serfs, triumphs 
at the end not only by saving his head 
from rolling, but by bringing back 
500 gold pieces to his family. Morton 
the elephant sits in a tree hatching 
an egg for Mayzie, the no-good lazy 
bird who flies off to bask in the 
Palm Ceach sun, and though miserable 
the whole time, Morton exclaims "I 
meant what I said/And I said what I 
meant. ./An elephant's faithful/One 
hundred per cent!" Morton is 
rewarded in the end for his stead- 
fast faithfulness, for when the egg 
hatches "llorton the Elephant saw 
something whizz!/It had ears and a 
tail and a trunk just like his!" 
Thidwick the Hi g Hearted Moose's 
horns become home for pests he won't 
and can't get rid of because they're 
guests, But the just are rewarded: 
OLD horns come off so that NEW ones 
can grow, and "His old horns today 
are/'/here you knew they would be/ 
His guests are still on them /All 
stuffed, as they should be." Seuss's 
plea for minority rights is exemplified 
in H0RT0N HEARS A '.IMP ! when the tiny 
'Jho's are described: "A person's 
a person, no matter how small." 



In the mid 50' s when ev 
was worrying about Johnny n 
able to read, Seuss's publi 
Random House, suggested he 
book to include no more tha 
of one syllable. The rest 
a rakish-looking cat wearin 
pipe hat took the world of 
readers by storm. THE CAT 
was first of the now famous 
copied, Beginner Books. Un 
pseudonym, Theo. LeSieg (Ge 
backwards) lauched Bright a 
Books for pre-schoolers. 



eryone 
ot being 
sher, 
write a 
n 34ft words 
is history: 
g a stove- 
children's 
IN THE HAT 
and often 
der another 
isel spelled 
nd Early 



Even though Geisel's books look 
effortless, a typical 60 page Seuss 



27 



book takes him over a year to complete 
and he discards as many as 500 drawings 
before he is through. According to 
Geisel, "When you write for kids, you 
can't lose then for one second. If 
you don't take the child forward with 
each turn of the page, you're cooked," 

Although never having children of 
his own, Seuss has had no trouble 
appealing to youngsters (and adults) 
for over 40 years. Since the 70's, 
several of his books have been made 
into animated television specials; 
though they are delightful, this 
writer believes that Seuss is meant 
for reading. It is too easy for a 
child to sit passively in front of 
the screen. The fun is in reciting 
the sing-song verse, the silly- 
sounding v/ords and discovering with 
each turn of the page, another 
ridiculous but lovable Seuss character. 

Children (and grownups) love to 
laugh. A humorous Seuss book can 
be a method of shared enjoyment for 
both the parent and child, or it might 
be just the spark to get a reluctant 
reader interested enough to start 
reading. 

REFERENCES 

Bader, Barbara. AMERICAN PICTURF.BOOKS 
FROM NOAM'S ARK TO THE BEAST 
WITHIN. New York: Macmillan,1976. 

Bauer, Carolyn Feller. "What's So 
Funny? Humor in Children's 
Books" (30 min. cassette) in 
PRELUDE: CHILDREN"S BOOK COUNCIL 
MIN I -SEMINARS ON USING BOOKS 
CREATIVELY, Series 3. New York: 
Children's Book Council, 1977. 

Hoffman, Miriam and Eva Samuels. 
AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS OF 
CHILDREN'S BOOKS. New York: 
R.R. Bowker, 1972 

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. BOOKS ARE BY 
PEOPLE. New York: Citation 
Press, 1969. 

Lanes, Selma G. DOWN THE RABBIT 
HOLE. New York: Atheneum,1972. 



28 



JOHNNY LINNY'S NIGHTMARE 
by Roberta Rosen 



This very slim, short volume, 
dealing with child abuse, has the 
explosiveness of dynamite, telling 
how it is to feel all alone when 
you're a small child. 

Nine-year-old Johnny still has 
nightmares, fewer than before, even 
though he is warm, secure and loved 
by his 'really-real' parents. The 
love and trust Johnny feels for his 
'parents' stands him in good stead 
when his friend, Maria, the case- 
worker, comes to take Johnny back 
to Chicago from the small farm in 
southern Illinois. Johnny doesn't 
understand about court orders and 
lawyers but he trusts his 'daddy' 
when he says it is for only two 
weeks. 

When Johnny is greeted by his 
natural parents you can sense his 
terror and that all -gone feeling he 
has among these familiar strangers. 
The nightmares become constant 
companions again and nothing has 
really changed, except that Johnny 
knows the nightmares are real. He 
counts the days until his 'daddy' 
comes to get him and make everything 
alright again. Even when he is 
beaten for running away in terror 
and is brought back and then beaten 
again for wetting his bed, Johnny 
knows his 'really-real' daddy will 
come for him at the end of the two 
weeks. He tries to wait patiently. 

Ms. Rosen's book has great 
impact and raises some important 
questions. There are no easy answers. 
It is truly a nightmare. 

Published by Vantage Press, 
Johnny Linny's Nightmare is suitable 
for all age groups. However, very 
young readers may be disturbed by 
its content. 



Masumi Hayushi Keesey 



Rzview Hy So J, HeMick/uizgeA 




29 



STELLA PEVSNER: POPULAR 
WRITER FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 

by Lou. Y-Jifin. 

(An interview with Stella Pevsner 
before she spoke to a Children and 
Young Adult Literature class at 
Governors State University.) 

For all appearances, Stella 
Pevsner is like many typical suburban 
women: poised, smartly attired and 
busy with her family. However, 
one is also aware that she is a keen 
observer of life around her, partic- 
ularly the life of young teens. Mer 
ability to portray where they are, 
what they do, how they feel and think 
is what makes her novels so popular 
with the 10 to 14 year oldsw 

, Many of her stories are set in 
a suburb similar to Palatine, where 
she resides and raised her two sons 
and two daughters. The west Chicago 
suburb is easily recognized in her 
latest novel, AMD YOU GIVE -ME A 
PAITi, ELAINE (1978). She describes 
how young people congregate to the 
large shopping mall which she 
patterned after l/oodfield, and many 
of the stores her characters visit 
arc vaguely familiar. Pevsner 
purposely sets her stories -in 
suburbs; as she explained, there 
are many children's books about 
kids living in Mew York, but how 
many young readers actually relate 
to living in a big city? 

!ler own children's teen years 
provided her with a wealth of 
material and ample opportunities to 
observe and learn about young people. 
She talked about the constant stream 
of teenagers who passed through 
the house as her children were grow- 
ing up. These are the persons 
that have become the prototypes 
for her characters and her stories 
have been based upon their experi- 
ences in their suburban environment. 

However, her books are also an 
expression of Stella and her 
character. She told us that her 



stories always express a hopeful 
outlook and end on a positive note. 
She also said she writes in an 
honest fashion, exposing her readers 
to ideas that she believes in her- 
self. Her ability to identify 
with young people, to relate to and 
understand their feelings, their 
problems and their varied life- 
styles, and to weave these obser- 
vations into a novel are the 
ingredients that make Pevsner's 
books so appeal ing. 




30 



FROM THE EDITOR'S PLAYGROUND 
On "letting out the child" 




Helen Kennebunk, Maine 

When I see the bumpersticker around 
here that admonishes HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR 
KID TODAY? I give myself, metaphorically, 
a bearhug. Nevermind that this particu+ 
lar bumpersticker has been subject to 
humorous variations such as HAVE YOU 
HUGGED YOUR MOTORCYCLE TODAY? intended 
to ridicule this concern for kids. Those 
who poke fun at the idea of hugging your 
kid may represent the anti-child factor 
in modern American culture and, as such, 
be just another subtle form of the atti- 
tudes leading to neglect and abuse of 
children which is so well documented in 
this special issue on The Worlds of 
Children. 

Cut inside every busy, hurrying adult 
there is a little kid who is often neg- 
lected, and when that happens, the qual- 
ity of life is impoverished. 

In this College we teach, among other 
theories of human behavior, the ideas of 
Eric Berne known as Transactional Analy- 
sis, based on three ego states in the 
normal adult personality: the Child, the 
Parent, and the Adult. The Child is that 
part that wants, hurts, cries, laughs, 
feels sad, gets into mischief, wants its 



own way. Also, Berne holds that creati- 
vity depends on ready access to the Child, 
the source of play, spontaneity, free 
movement of the imagination, and refers 
to the creative Child who slumbers within 
every adult as "the little Professor". 

I decided to go around and ask ny col- 
leagues who are big adult professors if 
they had "hugged their kid today", and 
what they do to attend to the needs and 
nature of the Child within them. I found 
that they like to play with their own 
children for relaxation, to no walking in 
the woods and kicking leaves, to get v/ith 
real good friends that they've known for 
years and.. .regress, wear a horrible, 
grotesque mask to a faculty leeting, de- 
sign ridiculous experiments, play pract- 
ical jokes on each other. ..and I conclude 
that they are indeed in touch v/ith their 
Child-selves more than many people in the 
grown-up world. 

My friend, Stu, when frustration 
reaches a certain critical point, sits 
down and composes a nut-o-grani which he 
then fires off to some unsuspecting friend 
or co-worker. A nut-o-gram may look like 
this: 



^ 



n^ 



V4-0«^-8-a- ~ 



k<xaj juxAsusl€i/ "Z- A^^CT Tl*-a3- /^q^j kUC^Aow, 



■R-EeW FSVCX; 



M USEI> i"T" 2- 



Her* 



K vj 



and I assure you thay are treasured by 
the recipients. 

To enjoy play and nonsense, to keep 



31 



the ability to be silly, to laugh, to see 
the absurdity of it all — and thus, to 
achieve a sense of proportion again— 
these are sone of the rewards of keeping 
alive the Child. 

Helen Hughes 




Harold Reiss 






32 



NOW READY: BOUND VOLUMES I AND II 

Summer 1977 to Spring 1979 

Complete your collection of 
The Creative Woman - $25.00 




BACK ISSUES AVAILABLE 



A limited number of single copies 
of back issues are available at $1.50 
each. 

Vol. I. No. 1 The Newsletter 

Vol. I. No. 2 Literature (Shirley Katz) 

Vol. I. No. 4 Women in Science 

(Helene Guttman) 
Images: Women in Art 

(betye Saar) 

Feminist Scholarship 

(Harriet Gross) 



Vol. II No. 1 
Vol. II No. 4 



ORDER HERE 



name 



address 



Please send 

each, 



copies of 

I enclose $, 



33 







.J - .... ^ ' . *^- '^v-. 




"Morning" 



woodcut by Hope Meryman.U.S. 



OBITUARY 

With sorrow we report the death of 
Martha Hamilton who served as editorial 
assistant during Fall 1977 when the 
special issue on literature was in 
preparation. 



34 




Rhoda Riley 



Please send me The Creative Woman for one year. Enclosed is my check or money order 
for $ 



>< 



$ 5.00 regular subscription 
$ 7.00 foreign subscription 
$10 . 00+ donation and automatic subscription 



Return to: The Creative Woman 

Governors State University 
Park Forest South, IL 60466 



NAME 



ADDRESS_ 
CITY 



STATE 



ZIP 



35 




The 
Creatine 
Ionian 

Governors State University 
Park Forest South, IL 60466 



Mini Kaplan 
Learning Resouce Center 
Library Science 
GSU 



Nonprofit Org. 
U.S. Postage Paid 
Park Forest South, IL 
Permit #178